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National Adoption Month - November

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What is National Adoption Month? National Adoption Month is about spreading awareness. It is a month to encourage others to learn about adoption, to hold adoption related events, and to acknowledge the people in this country whose lives have been impacted by adoption. The mission of National Adoption Month is to celebrate the families who have grown through adoption, and to recognize the many children who are still waiting for forever families. When did National Adoption Month start? In the United States, the first, major, adoption-related effort occurred in 1976 in the state of Massachusetts. Then-Governor Mike Dukakis proclaimed the first week of November “Adoption Week,” to promote the need for more adoptive families to care for the large number of children in the foster care system. In 1984 President Gerald R. Ford made Adoption Week a national event. By 1998 the week had become so widely recognized there were too many events to fit into seven days. President Bill Clinton extended the weeklong event into National Adoption Month, which is what we celebrate today.During National Adoption Month, individual people, families, businesses, private and public organizations, communities, states, and the government all celebrate adoption, and encourage it as a positive way to grow families. Across the country, events and observances like volunteer recruitment, recognition dinners, fundraising drives, community activities, and other special occurrences take place. These events highlight the month’s mission, spread awareness, honor people who have made a difference, and support those involved with the system. National Adoption Day also occurs during National Adoption Month. Typically held on a Saturday, National Adoption Day is observed across the country in court hearings, where thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.Overall, we celebrate National Adoption Month to shine a national spotlight light on adoption. More specifically, we celebrate to: Honor families that have grown through adoption. Recognize the hundreds of thousands of children waiting for permanent families. Spread awareness of adoption. Advocate for the wellbeing and future of children in foster care. Encourage our neighborhoods, communities, cities and states to take a stand. Ask our businesses and companies to support adoption. Provide everyone with the opportunity to get involved. How can I participate? Everyone can participate in National Adoption Month! Whether you are pursuing adoption, currently fostering, or simply a supporter of the cause, everyone can be a part of National Adoption month. If you are interested in in being involved, read on for a list of suggestions. Read more on National Adoption Month’s history and purpose. Share information with your family and friends. Attend a National Adoption Month events in your community. Donate money to an adoption or foster care agency. Volunteer your time with an adoption or foster care organization.How can I participate? – If you’re considering adoption or fostering: Reach out to a family you know who has adopted or fostered to learn more about their experience. Attend an Adoption Month activity in your area. Join a support group for potential adoptive parents. If there isn’t one in your area, start one. Check out The Archibald Project, and learn how this orphan-care advocacy group is changing the world through storytelling. Sign up online for adoption newsletters or e-magazines. Start a blog that shares your journey towards adoption or fostering. Connect with other families through online forums to discuss your experience and share support. Start an adoption baby book, photo album, or journal to share with your future child one day. Attend an adoption finalization of a friend or family member. Check out books from the library on adoption or foster care parenting. Go online and look at Adopt Us Kids and search of children waiting for future families. How can I participate? – If you are an adoptive parent or foster parent: Start an Adoption Month family tradition. Pick a special activity, like going out to dinner, having a picnic in the park, or taking a day trip to favorite spot, and make it an annual celebration. Offer to meet with families considering adoption or fostering to discuss the process and share your experience. Look for National Adoption Month activities or meet-ups in your area, and attend as a family. Start a family blog to spread awareness of adoption or foster care. Connect your child with an adult mentor who has been adopted or lived in foster care. Send a care package to your child’s birthparents. Attend an adoptive parent support group meeting. If there isn’t one in your area, start one. Re-tell your child his or her adoption story, and spend time going through baby books, photo albums, and other memorabilia from that time. Cook a traditional meal from your family’s or child’s heritage. Learn the unique spices, ingredients, and techniques, and create a secret family recipe together. Organize a community meet-up or play group for foster or adoptive families to connect. Tell your children about your own childhood. Talk about traditions you had with your parents, and memories from when you were young. If you want to support adoption and foster care: Share National Adoption Month Information with friends and family or on social media. Support and encourage friends or family who may be considering adoption or are going through the adoption process. Mentor a child who is aging out of the foster care system. Reach out to elected officials or candidates. Send letters urging them to support National Adoption Month, ask them to speak at events, or invite them to community gatherings. Post adoption positive articles or links on your social media site. Teach the children in your life what adoption is. Encourage them to ask you questions, and have a conversation on how to talk to kids who are adopted. Contribute a financial donation to a family who is adopting internationally. Volunteer with CASA to support children in foster care. Ask your local library to showcase adoption positive books for the month. Organize a drive or fundraiser to support Child and Family Services or another adoption/foster care agency in your area. Encourage your place of employment to offer adoption benefits to employees. Start a blog featuring other families who have adopted or are fostering (with their permission) to spread awareness. Raise awareness of kids waiting to be adopted by sharing videos online or with friends and family.

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